Man Utd's Champions League clash with Galatasaray set to go ahead despite concerns

  • Man Utd due to face Galatasaray in the Champions League group stage
  • Heavy rain has been falling all day in Istanbul
  • Doubts about the playability of the pitch have led to inspections

Galatasaray's pitch is undergoing inspection after heavy rain
Galatasaray's pitch is undergoing inspection after heavy rain / Visionhaus/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Manchester United are set to face Galatasaray in the Champions League as planned on Wednesday evening, despite a nervous wait earlier in the day to see if the group stage clash would go ahead given the adverse weather conditions in Istanbul.

Reporters on the ground made note of the heavy rain that has been falling all day in the Turkish metropolis, which led to concerns over the condition of the pitch at Rams Park.

Images showed patches of standing water on the saturated turf and UEFA officials were sent out to inspect the playing surface. Local news maintained the game was always going to go ahead and that hadn't changed by the time the respective lineups were confirmed just over an hour before kick-off.

Basic ball tests carried out by officials had appeared to be failing, with the water on the pitch preventing it from freely rolling or bouncing as normal. Rain is also still forecast throughout the evening and into the early hours of Thursday morning, suggesting conditions won't improve.

Kick-off is currently scheduled for 8:45pm local time, which is 5:45pm GMT.

Elsewhere in Istanbul on Wednesday, United and Galatasaray’s Under-19 teams had already met in the UEFA Youth League, playing the game in torrential rain as the hosts won 1-0.

Galatasaray & Man Utd played earlier in the UEFA Youth League
Galatasaray & Man Utd played earlier in the UEFA Youth League / Burak Kara/GettyImages

Victory is an absolute must for Erik ten Hag's United side.

Having lost three of their opening four games – one each against Bayern Munich, Galatasaray and Copenhagen – United desperately need a strong finish on the final two matchdays if they are to progress to the knockout stages from a group that was deemed favourable when it was drawn.

United last got through a Champions League group in 2021/22 but were eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the first knockout round. The Red Devils haven't won a knockout tie at this level since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's early days in charge when Marcus Rashford's incredible late penalty completed a remarkable aggregate comeback against Paris Saint-Germain - now almost five years ago.


READ THE LATEST CHAMPIONS LEAGUE NEWS, PREVIEWS & RATINGS HERE

feed